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Reviewed by Shrabastee Chakraborty for Readers' Favorite
The Alligator Dance by Brenda M. Spalding raises the curtain on Manasota State Park. With an alarming rise in the poaching of alligator eggs, ranger Seth Grayson doubts whether the park will have even a single alligator hatchling this season. The situation takes a turn for the worse when a mother alligator attacks and devours a poacher. Seth concocts a wild and desperate plan with Liz Corday, the inspecting officer from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. This clever ruse might provide valuable information about the identity of the perpetrators; however, it can also end up costing Seth his life. The stakes are higher than ever, especially since Seth dreams of a future with the FWC officer.
The Alligator Dance, in the guise of a page-turning thriller, brings to our attention several burning issues. Brenda M. Spalding showed how a few corrupt, greedy people exploited nature for personal gain. Blind with lust for money, they paid no heed to the irreparable damage they caused to the ecosystem. At the other end of this spectrum were the conservation officers who demanded our respect for their tireless and often dangerous work. I admired how Spalding touched on the deep-rooted economic reasons that could compel even a good-hearted person to turn to poaching. The novel boasts risky undercover missions and situations fraught with tension. At the same time, the budding romance between the lead characters ensured a breath of relief. Seth and Liz’s all-encompassing love made me root for them. The details of Seminole customs were enriching. I loved how Spalding depicted the necessity to accept changes while still upholding old traditions. I recommend this novel to anyone looking for a fast, thrilling read with a romantic side.